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Beagle
10-18-2012, 08:18 PM
Sorry if this has been covered, but I'm new around here. I've been delighted to set a couple of record times... is there any way to see whether they still stand? I can't find anyplace that lists them except as the individual quotes come up. Thanks.

Barnabas
10-19-2012, 12:53 AM
You must be new around here, indeed. I believe you said your name was Roger Bannister - yes? Allow me to introduce you to Hicham El Guerrouj. He goes by the handle Bansaisequoia.:eek: ...and your records are all gone:p

Welcome back, though!

Beagle
10-19-2012, 01:42 AM
Haha... I quite believe you, seeing his times. I just wondered if there's anyplace to look. It seems like it would be nice to see something in one's trophy room, like "You currently hold the record time for... 4 cryptograms." But I don't think there's any way to know, is there?

gryhnd51
10-19-2012, 06:24 AM
You might try asking Bansai about his "Wall of Titans". I'm not sure if that would provide you with the information you want, though. The record times are constantly being bettered by other players.

chopstix
10-19-2012, 08:19 PM
The fact that you've only been competing for 2 months and have already set a few record times is quite impressive Beagle! I'm impressed and envious - congratulations! :)

Beagle
10-19-2012, 11:02 PM
Thanks Chopstix, that's nice of you to say. I'm afraid that in my case it's more luck than anything else. I feel slow as molasses most of the time. I'm sure enjoying myself, though, and I'm enjoying the quotes (for the most part).

Barnabas
10-23-2012, 12:41 AM
Beagle wrote: Haha... I quite believe you, seeing his times. I just wondered if there's anyplace to look. It seems like it would be nice to see something in one's trophy room, like "You currently hold the record time for... 4 cryptograms." But I don't think there's any way to know, is there?

I haven't poked around the site enough to consider myself an expert navigator, but as far as I know - no, there isn't. I did look at this month's top 100, and I see you're #7 at the moment, and that you're also batting a 100% solve rate. That's impressive. I've slogged along for a couple of years, and my all-time solve rate is now approaching 84%, and my monthly solve rates have risen to the low 90s. Congratulations on that... and if you have any tips you wish to share, we who struggle are always open to new ways of looking at these puzzles.

Beagle
10-24-2012, 12:21 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Barnabas (always appreciate a Dark Shadows reference, by the way).

I doubt I'd have any advice that isn't commonplace. And the only thing my solve rate indicates is that I've spent a ridiculous amount of time refusing to give up on a puzzle.

I always start by looking at context, especially at the beginning of the quote (and sometimes at the end, or after a punctuation mark)... it's often pretty easy to get a quick toe-hold by seeing something like:
"He who.."
or, "If you want to..."
or, "______ is the ____ of _____..."

If that fails, then I move on to scanning individual words, looking for patterns that jump out at me.

If that fails, it's going to be a long slog... looking at frequency of letters, trying various combinations, etc.

The ones that REALLY burn me are the ones where I know I've broken in and have the basic idea, but also know I might have a thing or two wrong here and there, and there remains a word or two that I just can't figure out. Usually that means I do have something wrong somewhere else, but man that's frustrating.

PenelopeAndromeda
10-25-2012, 05:03 AM
. . . doing these cryptograms. With every puzzle and its challenges, it feels pretty awesome to just use my brains and eyes to solve them. I will probably never set any records, but that's okay. I'm getting the puzzles and it's my brain that benefits most. If I used other stuff, it wouldn't mean nearly as much. It would kind of . . . cheapen . . . the experience if I wasn't doing it to:o tally on my own. Thanks for this site!

einsmallstein
10-27-2012, 03:52 PM
There is now way he is just using his eyes and brains... humanly impossible:rolleyes:

pootie49
10-27-2012, 04:19 PM
OH allow me....

ahem, i refer you to this page

http://www.cryptograms.org/forum/showthread.php?t=669

i refer you to the word no as opposed to the word now

i refer you to stop being a doubter and realize that even i
had set 1150 records faster than bansai at one time
(merde)

check the link....doubts be gone!!!!

sighhhhhhh
rolls eyes

montyb
10-27-2012, 05:53 PM
This probably won't convince the naysayers or end the myth, but here is my story.

I played as a guest for many months and noticed the prevalence of "bansaisequoia" as the record holder for many puzzles. My first thought was that bansaisequoia was actually a group of people working in collaboration since so many records were "his". Naturally I had also hypothesized about some type of computer program being the actual record holder.

When I started playing as a competitor, I finally worked up the courage to enter the chat box and exchange PMs with some of the other players. The evidence garnered from these exchanges would not support my previous hypotheses. I had to follow the evidence that led to the conclusion that bansaisequoia was indeed a single HUMAN individual of amazing skills. Enviable skills to be certain, but HUMAN skills nonetheless.

I also found him (and many other players, especially Pootie) to be a true friend who shared many of my idiosyncracies and eccentricities. Is he fiendishly fast? Damn straight he is! But so are many other players who have often beaten his records (and have had a brick returned to them).

Anyone who has ever followed one of the many public chats between Bansai and myself cannot help but notice the usually quick (when our schedules coincide) repartee the demonstrates cognizant, and sometimes bizarre, abilities that no computer program has been able to yet imitate. The phrase is "cogito, ergo sum"; not "computare, ergo sum".

Bansai, Pootie, Iltquilt, Carrot, Barnabas, Lily, Lurker, Fredsevant, Shivan, and many, many others, you have my friendship and respect.

Monty

Barnabas
10-27-2012, 08:40 PM
Bansai, Pootie, Iltquilt, Carrot, Barnabas, Lily, Lurker, Fredsevant, Shivan, and many, many others, you have my friendship and respect.

Monty

Monty -
That I would be included in this list is both humbling and touching. Know, too, that I consider you a distant friend somewhere out there on the landscape known as the internet. I occasionally put my foot in it a little when I make attempts at humor by commenting on some of the quotes ( I can think of one, especially, in which I wished I had just moved on to the next quote ), and in hindsight have kicked myself once or twice. Considering Lincoln's quote about opening one's mouth and removing all doubt as to one's foolishness, I do appreciate that you would include me in your last post.

einsmallstein wrote:
There is now way he is just using his eyes and brains... humanly impossible

Bansai's daytime job is that of television actor (not a lot of people know that, and I'm almost sure Bansai will deny it). He plays a DVM on NBC's Animal Practice, which airs Wednesday nights. If you've ever seen the show, you'll know then that he always carries a little monkey on his shoulder - named "Rizzo." Rizzo is with him at all times, and it is Rizzo who types in the vowels while Bansai punches in the consonants. Poor Rizzo - only gets a banana whenever they set a record.

Carrot
10-27-2012, 11:07 PM
Monty,

"Some of the most rewarding and beautiful moments of a friendship happen in the unforeseen open spaces between planned activities." ~ Christine Leefeldt

Thank you : )

fredsevent
10-27-2012, 11:39 PM
This probably won't convince the naysayers or end the myth, but here is my story.

Bansai, Pootie, Iltquilt, Carrot, Barnabas, Lily, Lurker, Fredsevant, Shivan, and many, many others, you have my friendship and respect.

Monty

Thanks, Monty

Golly, I too am humbled to be (erroneously) included in such a list. Perhaps I should visit the chat room more often (and maybe leave my more cantankerous self elsewhere)?

And as for Bansai, well he does do a few things to help his times in addition to being very good. His browser/computer is clearly better than mine for on those rare occasions when I attempt to type as fast as his video demonstrates, I have problems with the letters being properly assigned. Also, he is a premium member and well, he knows how to type (I've keyboarded every day for 30 years and still can't type very well - it's hopeless). I've estimated this gives him a 5-8 second edge on every puzzle which means his time still beats mine over 99% of the time, but if speed is your thing you should do as he does - and play 20-30 thousand puzzles. :)

And for what it's worth, I just jumped in and started competing here from my first puzzle although it would be fair to say I've worked a few cryptograms prior to joining this site.

fredsevent

bansaisequoia
10-29-2012, 01:38 AM
(in reference to bansaisequoia)
Also, he is a premium member

This just in from our Faux News Fact Checker: bansaisequoia has refused to provide any verification of ever having been a premium member. Site administrator Stephen has been curiously silent on this issue. Everything about bansaisequoia is suspect!!!

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rBsj9EdieSE/T2jjcIeSPMI/AAAAAAABHCw/0GYts3T7vz4/s320/www.topeiraxtiri.gr.jpg

iltquilt
10-29-2012, 07:05 AM
Monty,

I am honored to be included in the list of internet friends. Early in the morning, taking a break for lunch, after a long day of therapy (my husband says that I play all day for a living -- partially true, although it is play with a purpose), or any time on the weekend, I look forward to getting on the site, sometimes to solve, but sometimes just to check to see who is chatting and/or who is solving. It is comforting to see the familiar names, many of whom I feel I know just a little bit. Thanks to those who have helped me when I've been stuck; thanks for all the encouragement. Seeing the fastest solves on puzzles is inspiring for me.

Bansai, for what it's worth, I have never doubted that you are a real person.

I've solved cryptograms for nearly thirty years, but only the last 14 months on this site (my only internet crypto site). There's no bragging involved here -- I'm just trying to keep what brain cells I have from dying off too quickly (while still enjoying a nice glass of wine with dinner, thus destroying aforementioned brain cells).

Iltquilt

PenelopeAndromeda
10-30-2012, 04:59 AM
OH allow me....

ahem, i refer you to this page

http://www.cryptograms.org/forum/showthread.php?t=669

i refer you to the word no as opposed to the word now

i refer you to stop being a doubter and realize that even i
had set 1150 records faster than bansai at one time
(merde)

check the link....doubts be gone!!!!

sighhhhhhh
rolls eyes

Ummm . . . When referring to one's self, I believe it's proper to use upper-case "I." I also believe that sentences usually start with upper-case letters. I think that even the French among us know that.

An accidental "w" at the end of a "no," is a much easier read than sentence after sentence beginning with lower-case letters -- especially when the writer of said sentences is correcting a single letter's error. Just sayin'.

Lily H
10-30-2012, 05:21 AM
For your information, Pootie is very seriously ill, and it takes great effort on her part to even get up out of bed these days. I believe it's much easier for her to type in all lower case letters without punctuation. Before you give her unasked for grammar lessons, you should know a bit more about her and what she has been going through these past two years. You might want to read some of the old forum posts about her illness. We are lucky that she is still with us and able to drop by occasionally to chat and post in the forum.

PenelopeAndromeda
10-30-2012, 05:52 AM
I think it's sweet when people defend others. I also think that correctors can be corrected. If it hurts to see someone we care for being corrected, then perhaps we should refrain from correcting others. Perhaps you should learn a little more about me before you suggest that I learn a bit more about someone else.

Have a good game, and be well.

iltquilt
10-30-2012, 06:09 AM
Lily,

I have read the posts about and by Pootie, and I'd like to stand up here with you in her defense. It seems to me that she is an icon on this site, welcoming those who were new and who ventured into the chat, helping those who were stuck, and being a big sister to Bansai (and many others, I am sure).

PenelopeAndromeda,

Have you ever heard of or read the book "The Four Agreements"? If you haven't read it, you may want consider it. The basic premise: you make four agreements with yourself. These are probably not in the order given in the book, but it doesn't really matter: 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Always do your best. 3. Never take anything personally. 4. Don't assume.

These agreements, which I made with myself a couple of years ago, continue to make my daily life easier. I don't know what anyone's challenges may be. I don't know what your challenges are and you don't know what mine are. The only thing that is certain -- we all have difficulties. This is a nice site with nice folks who have forged friendships.

Remember, just because you know one thing about a person, doesn't mean you know that person.

Pootie,

I'm sorry I don't know you. I'm certain it is my loss.

Iltquilt

gryhnd51
10-30-2012, 07:04 AM
For those of you who never had the chance to get to know Pootie, I can only say that it's your loss. When she was well enough to play, Pootie was the FIRST to welcome new players by sending so many of them a PM of welcome. She was also usually the first to respond to cries of help, or just calls for information on where to find stuff, etc. And she almost never missed wishing folks a happy birthday, whether she knew you or not.

In the best of health or not, Pootie is still a "force of nature" and one of the smartest, kindest and most capable crypto solvers going.

Penelope, I know that if you had had the opportunity to get to know her as many of us do, you would also think she's wonderful and deserving of being defended.

PenelopeAndromeda
10-30-2012, 08:06 AM
Lily,

I have read the posts about and by Pootie, and I'd like to stand up here with you in her defense. It seems to me that she is an icon on this site, welcoming those who were new and who ventured into the chat, helping those who were stuck, and being a big sister to Bansai (and many others, I am sure).

PenelopeAndromeda,

Have you ever heard of or read the book "The Four Agreements"? If you haven't read it, you may want consider it. The basic premise: you make four agreements with yourself. These are probably not in the order given in the book, but it doesn't really matter: 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Always do your best. 3. Never take anything personally. 4. Don't assume.

These agreements, which I made with myself a couple of years ago, continue to make my daily life easier. I don't know what anyone's challenges may be. I don't know what your challenges are and you don't know what mine are. The only thing that is certain -- we all have difficulties. This is a nice site with nice folks who have forged friendships.

Remember, just because you know one thing about a person, doesn't mean you know that person.

Pootie,

I'm sorry I don't know you. I'm certain it is my loss.

Iltquilt



My words were impeccable. Sentences do usually begin with upper-case letters. I did not make things that way. I just stated a commonly-known fact. I am not sure why it is okay for Pootie to point out a slight misspelling, but not okay for me to point out errors in Pootie's writing.

I did my best. I did not attack her with my corrections. I only pointed out errors, in the same way that she did with another person. What exactly were you and Lily defending her against? My writing to her about her writing in the same way as she wrote to Einsmallstein? My barely (if at all) existent sarcasm? Did I tell her what to do, or did I try to make her do something that she did not want to? Was I name-calling or something? Have I somehow missed what I wrote that required you to defend her against me -- something that somehow could even be assumed as being an example of disrespect for who she is and what she's going through? And really, is pointing out her errors so heinous a deed that I need to be scolded for speaking up, just as she did? Really? I'm only asking so as to not break Agreement #4.

I did not take anything personally . . . that is, until I felt attacked for merely pointing out errors and making a point.

I did not assume anything. I went on what was written to me. I did not have to make assumptions about the intent of Lily's post, or of yours, for that matter. Hers seemed quite clear: Because I did not know that Pootie was seriously ill and an icon on this site, I should keep my fingers still, unless I agree with what she writes. To do otherwise is disrespectful and insensitive. Your intent seemed also evident, in your listing of The Four Agreements for me, and me alone. I am 44. I have been following the Agreements for just about 20 years. I'm not an expert, nor is my following of The Agreements anywhere near perfect, but I do all right. I just think that perhaps singling me out for your listing of them is a bit on the . . . less-than-equal-treatment side.

I sympathize with Pootie being in grave health. But how my comment on her lettering became a lesson in how I was wrong for pointing it out because of how sick she is, this is beyond me. Tell you what, though: My best and closest heart, someone with whom I was fortunate enough to share a love deeper than friendship, deeper than lovers, so deeply transcendent of family, died of horribly painful pancreatic cancer one week before he got to watch me march in graduation from grad school, in May 2011. I got to watch part of the last few weeks, as his body failed him. It was my great honor to treat his intellect as he treated mine and others', catching his errors, even as he busted me on mine. I now appreciate the offense he took when someone told me "you shouldn't say that because he's sick." I appreciate it so much more now than ever.

You are right, Lily, in one thing: You don't know me. All you know is that I treated Pootie's writing the same way she treated Einsmallstein's. And yet, you and Lily seem to have drawn conclusions about me that can in no way be based on a mere five sentences.

I think that the funniest, and perhaps saddest of all, is that this is not about Pootie, nor is any of this so-called defense of her anything she's requested on this board -- at least, not that I've seen yet. This is about two people over-reacting to my five-sentence critique on her writing style, in the same manner as she critiqued Einsmallstien's.

Perhaps I am not the only one who should reread The Four Agreements. No-one seemed to find offense at Pootie's correction of a single-letter error in someone else's post. But my correction of the errors in her post is obviously an act against some unspoken golden rule.

Consider it a lesson learned. I'll shut up, play my games, and leave you good folks to your forum. I'm done here.

PenelopeAndromeda
10-30-2012, 08:28 AM
For those of you who never had the chance to get to know Pootie, I can only say that it's your loss. When she was well enough to play, Pootie was the FIRST to welcome new players by sending so many of them a PM of welcome. She was also usually the first to respond to cries of help, or just calls for information on where to find stuff, etc. And she almost never missed wishing folks a happy birthday, whether she knew you or not.

In the best of health or not, Pootie is still a "force of nature" and one of the smartest, kindest and most capable crypto solvers going.

Penelope, I know that if you had had the opportunity to get to know her as many of us do, you would also think she's wonderful and deserving of being defended.

One final thought:

I am sure that Pootie is as wonderful, warm, and welcoming as you and others have described. I have not said a single word to the contrary. But, it seems too difficult for you and her other "defenders" to notice that my comment was not an attack on her or her kindness or her illness. It was a five-sentence critique on her writing, in the same way as her comment was, in part, a critique on Einsmallstein's comment. I said nothing about her or to her that required anyone to defend her against me. If she had written a correction about my comments, I'd be willing to bet that this whole situation would have been handled entirely differently. When she corrects someone else, it's okay. When someone corrects her, they get castigated. My word! What a sin I've committed! I beg each of you "defenders" with all that I am that you could somehow, some way, find it in your hearts to forgive me before my world ends in ashes and shame!

As I said: Lesson learned. It is far more important to me to solve puzzles, to increase my brain speed, than it is to continue to engage in this inane conversation. Now, I am officially DONE with this forum. Consider it your victory and my loss. Please, do feel free to forget that I was ever here. I'll not be stupid enough to come back.

pootie49
10-30-2012, 09:44 AM
erm whuts castigated meen???

and pardon the non use of caps but its kinda my trademark
that and bad grammar and foul language but im a sweetheart ...apparently.

uh...i dont cap.

and i wasnt being intentionally rude to einsmallstein i was just a bit tired of
the naysayers and was making a point in my rather silly way.
ok i admit i shouldnt have been that harsh but the videos people the videos??
jeesh

um thanks for circling the wagons.
and its a shame i lost power or i d a been here earlier taking care of
this myself doncha know

penelope? simmer down girl it was a bad day and i was spouting off i do that
correct away hon.
lol its just so not important but you ve ticked a few very nice nice srsly nice
people off here and wow thank you for those that spoke up.
really...thank you.

i actually can use correct grammar and caps and punctuation even.
i know i can cause when i swear i punctuate like hell!!!!<see

so lets roll this back a bit and first off ...einsmallstein, my apologies, i was
grumpy and tired. I was rude in my post and im sorry.
and penelope im sorry if all this horrible grammar spelling lack of punctuation
and sans capping bugs you.
but um and i mean this with all the joie de vivre (ha french!) i can muster
get a life girl. holy cowfish. srsly were you having a bad day too?
cause ya coulda just pm'd me, im still active, i dont solve anymore but im
here, alot, lurking about, sorry lurker, just yanno talk to me if it bugs ya.
cause the players here will stand up for each other. cause we are a tight bunch
been thru alot together..
and im done with you now so pffffffffffft.

k, so thanks everyone for doing what i would do if someone dissed someone i cared about.
and in the same way what penelope did in einsmallsteins defense. or defence even.
yayyy gang meaning everyone.

penelope dont stop solving cause of this, its a great site. it really is the best cryptogram
site out there. with people who are helpful and kind and funny and fierce friends and
competitors.

thanks again all.
You've warmed the cockles of my heart.
^^^
punctuation, grammar, and caps.
cooo eee look at me bein all fancee and stuff.
oh and i tend to think that most people on this site are
extremely bright people. im sure my intentional non-use of
proper grammar etc. bothers the piss out of them, lol.
they however can take a joke. see they dont think im
actually as silly as i sound. prolly got to do with the fact
im yanno a good solver and shit.
oh and...e e cummings made a fortune out of books without capping.
just sayin.

ok anyway im going to bed now.
its hurrricaning out there.

pootie49
10-30-2012, 10:09 AM
dang it one more thing...

we are all, all of us, i reckon, going thru our own
personal hells each day.
and not one of us is perfect.

so chances are if someone speaks up for whatever reason
on a small non issue, in my experience, they are dealing
with some serious stuff and sometimes they need to just
let it out.
just remember to go easy and dont judge too harshly
and when its all done, say you re sorry.
its all we can do really.

thats not directed at anyone, i want to make that clear.
thats just a personal observation.

Barnabas
10-30-2012, 05:14 PM
No Country for Old Men and The Road. Two great reads by Cormac McCarthy... neither containing anything that would even come close to resembling generally accepted punctuation. I believe the movie version of No Country won best picture at the Academy Awards, if I'm not mistaken (perhaps it should have been filmed in black and white):rolleyes: So, Pootie... keep doin' what you do. Some cakes just can't be baked the wrong way.

Penelope - I really do hope we haven't heard from you for the final time here on the forum. I think the frustration that so many of the longtimers feel comes from the constant belief that Bansai just can't possibly be that fast. Well... here's how I look at it. Usain Bolt has run 100 meters in 9.58 seconds. That is so unbelievably fast that there would be many who might say it is, in fact, not humanly possible. But here in the 3rd millenium, with a TV camera pointed at Mr. Bolt every time he laces up his spikes, it really can't be denied. And therein lies the problem with Bansai. We don't have anything called the Cryptolympics, and there isn't 24 hour a day coverage by NBC Sports. But just because I can't solve quotes as quickly as Bansai doesn't mean he can't do it. He does... and that's a cool thing. Another cool thing is that I don't measure my success here against Bansai's success. If I did, I'd have been long gone long ago. So, peace be with you Penelope, and to you as well Einsmallstein. Both of your comments will always be welcomed here on the forum, but please understand that people's buttons occasionally get pushed... yours, mine, Pootie's, all of us. Life's too short - so stop and solve a few cryptos along the way.:)

EYJackson
10-30-2012, 06:39 PM
I'm a friend of Penelope's. I've known her all my life. I'm speaking in her defense now because I can. She didn't want me to last night.

Penelope is one of the kindest, gentlest, most compassionate people I've ever known. She couldn't be a chaplain if she didn't have those qualities. Pootie, when she read your comment to Einsmallstein, it struck her as funny. She thought you were just ribbin' and rippin', good nature kidding was all she figured it was. So she really just was joining the ribbin'. I can promise you that she meant no offense. She's one of those Pollyannas (I call her that all the time) who really does assume kindness and gives people the benefit of the doubt. I can't say that I've got that same outlook, and I always tell her that she's crazy, but that's really how she looks at things and people and the world in general.

I've never posted on this forum, but when she told me what happened, I had to come look for myself. Nobody assumed kindness on her part. Nobody gave her the benefit of the doubt. Nobody even asked if she was serious or not. People jumped her case and made assumptions without asking her what she intended. She made the assumption that you were just kidding with Einsmallstein, and maybe that assumption was wrong. If it was, please accept my apology on her behalf. Others made the assumption that she was being mean to you. I just wonder if anybody who assumed the worst of her and then jumped on her for it will apologize.

I'm standing in solidarity with her. This is my first and last comment on this forum. I'm sure you're as kind and wonderful as everyone says you are, and I'll bet that you are like her in assuming kindness and giving people the benefit of the doubt. Too bad Penelope got such a raw deal from people who'd rather assume the worst instead of at least asking questions first.

EYJackson
10-30-2012, 07:19 PM
Pootie, "castigated" just means "chastised." Your way of writing doesn't both her or me. We both have family members whose writing resembles yours, even her beloved Timothy (the one she spoke of) wrote like you do, and she treats them with no disrespect. By the end of his life, he barely had the strength to even look at a computer. When he was able to, her Pollyanna self thought it was the greatest thing in the world. (We all did.) Neither of us cares how anyone writes, we're just glad they take the time and care enough to write. She has a life, and a full one at that. She works, ministers, and is a chaplain. She wasn't having a bad day, not at first anyway. Thanks for asking, though. I'll tell her that you cared enough to ask.

Cheers!

(I'm sorry, I forgot to wish you a good day. I hope you are feeling well.) This really is my last post, though. I can't handle reading the venom against somebody from people who shoot first and ask questions later. We both plan to continue to solve puzzles, just not communicate on the forums. I'm like her -- we were both just curious about Bonsai's times. Curiosity satiated.